I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

• A Few Frogs Part 4: Strike King Rage Toad

Initial Thoughts

Tested with 7.1:1 Pflueger Summit WLP, 6'6" MH rod, 20# Gamma Copolymer, using my loop knot onto a size 10 snap swivel

I was talked into buying the Strike King Rage Toad after reading a thread at fishing forum I belong to. When it comes to plastic frogs, we have our own personal preference. I tend to throw Horny Toads more than Ribbits, but have had an exceptional experience using both. Consider the Rage Toad just another plastic frog on the market to choose from. This one will surely have its place in the lineup like all the others. Your personal preference will be the ultimate judge.

Strike King really made the package flashy to catch your attention. The inside is lined with a silver reflective coating. Also inside the package is a hard flat piece of clear plastic. The purpose for this piece of plastic was made clear to me on the thread at the forum as well. The legs can bend easily while packaged and if left this way for any period of time, the lure will be deformed. The plastic keeps the toads in line and prevents any bending or folding.

These toads come in packs of five in various colors. They make 'em in my favorite black neon, so that's what I picked. The back of the package has a lot of writing on it. One of the things it says is to rig these toads with a 4/0 to 6/0 wide gap hook, weightless, with their eyes up of course. Every product we come across makes some sort of a claim or sales pitch. Strike King claims their Rage series plastics splash and make a noise unlike any you've ever seen or heard before. Well, not exactly in those words, but I think that's what they were going for.

Before using the Rage Toad, you're going to have to adjust something on the lure. Otherwise they don't splash at all. The lure has been molded in such a way that the feet have been fixed to the legs with a small section of plastic. You must free the feet from the legs in order to get the desired action when you use it. The mold design is peculiar in and of itself. The body isn't so out of the ordinary. It's got a slim profile, two eyes, bumps on its back, and grooves in the back and belly for the hook. Looking at the feet, you'll notice that the ends are curled and rather bulky. The outer edges actually have high ridges to serve as a point of resistance which will create the splash Strike King was aiming for.

I've used the Rage Toad for a few days now and I am going to tell you this. I'm calling it the buzzbait of plastic frogs. As soon as it hits the water, your retrieve causes the legs to immediately begin splashing. It really reminds me of a buzzbait in this regard. Other frogs and toads seem to take a few seconds to get their sea legs, but you can get this toad going right away. The splash is somewhat similar to a Ribbit's action, but I think the Rage Toad has the Ribbit beat in the splash competition. What I really love about this toad is how slow I can retrieve it and still make a lot of noise. You can really feel the weight of this toad as you're bringing it back. I wouldn't recommend using a rod with a weak tip because it may not be able to handle the weight of this toad. Strike King (and KVD) recommends snipping equal parts off the tips of the feet to reduce noise on those calm clear days when bass might go for a more subtle approach. Haven't tried that yet, but I'd be more apt to throw another brand frog with more subtle foot action.

These Rage Toads are also great for pitching. I think they weigh a little more than the standard sized Ribbit and the Horny Toad. I was able to pitch them with consistent accuracy and distance. Sidearm casting seemed a little more cumbersome. I'm not sure why yet, but I'm working on it. I'll have to try it on another rod and reel.

I rigged mine with a 5/0 Zoom Horny Toad screw lock hook. The hook stays in place and the plastic hardly rips. The plastic feels pretty firm fresh out of the package, but after a few days of use, it softens up. I've only hooked into one fish so far with this lure and it was a gar that was able to shake loose. Every other brand frog or toad I've used has not survived a run-in with a gar. They either come back missing a leg or have a giant rip. With the Rage Toad, I noticed teeth marks in the body, but the plastic held up just fine.

I have only had one problem with this toad so far, aside from not catching any bass with it yet (Continue to follow my fishing reports). Maybe it's the hook I used, but for some reason, it'll swim upside down from time to time. It's not a consistent thing and I haven't pinned it down to the speed of retrieve or how I'm holding the rod. It could be the loop knot I use. Whatever the reason, it doesn't seem to affect the leg action. No matter how it swims, it should still kick, splash, and draw strikes. The hook point would be facing upside down in that situation and whether or not it would lead to missed strikes has yet to be seen with any soft plastic frog I've used thus far.

I'll have to let you know when I finally catch something with one of these toads. Lately, the bass haven't been biting on anything. I would also recommend keeping the toads in the original package against the plastic so that they maintain their original shape, unless your tackle box or bag has trays with wide enough storage spaces.

Related Posts:
Weak Spot In The Rage Toad
A Few Frogs Part 1: Scumfrog
A Few Frogs Part 2: Stanley Ribbit
A Few Frogs Part 3: Zoom Horny Toad
Rigging A Plastic Frog


Basspastor said...

I think you should have mentioned price. I know Bass Pro sells them for $4.99 which comes out to about a buck a toad. Up here in the North that is a steep price to pay on a plastic bait that even the littlest pike can do major damage too.

Great Review though.

BassFishingDem said...

That's kind of why I included the story about the gar. It may serve as a testament to durability, but only time will tell. I'm still working with the first one out of the pack. If that would have been a Horny Toad (paid $2.71 a pack), it would have suffered an injury and I'd already be on the second toad. If I can go through fewer Rage Toads than Horny Toads over time, it might end up being worth the premium price. By the way, I only had to pay $4.89 at Academy. BPS charges more on almost everything. I know Academy is not up your way though. The noise alone might be worth the extra price if it can draw some strikes for me.

Vince said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BassFishingDem said...

To Vince who asked:

what about casting distance related to wind resistance. if i get about 20ft more out of a horny toad than a ribbit, what am i looking at w/ the rage tail in your opinion?


In the future, comments are expected to remain on topic in their entirety. Refrain from any sort of additional nonsense, especially with regard to my politics.

I went out today and made a lot of comparison casts off the pier into an almost steady medium breeze. Again, I can pitch these Rage Toads a lot better than the other two. I am normally able to cast Horny Toads and Ribbits about the same distance regardless of conditions. A Bull Ribbit goes just as far. Keep in mind that I am using regular Ribbits with the Stanley weighted hooks. Today, the Rage Toad seemed to go just as far as the other three despite the wind. The real difference is still the time it takes for each one to start splashing its feet in the water. The Rage Toad starts splashing on the retrieve almost instantly, whereas the others take a moment to swim a little. Ask yourself if the slight difference in distance is worth a different action. I don't think you'll have any trouble in the wind.

Vince said...

thanks for the re: on the casting distance.

apologies on the light-hearted political comments, i suppose i misread some playfulness in your remarks in the header.

BassFishingDem said...

@BP: I found them today at Walmart for $4.74. They only had the toads in one color, but it's a little cheaper.

I'm still using the same toad I started with and I've hooked into another gar that came off as well as a small bass I didn't post a fishing report about.

Anonymous said...

(Comment edited by moderator)
I bought a package of these on sale at Walmart today for $2.50. Thanks for the tip about the flashing between the feet and legs. Just started to learn about fishing 2 months ago and caught my first decent sized largemouth bass on a top crank. What a blast. Found your site using Google and am enjoying the information. Keep up the good work. Will send the link to my fishing buddies.

Anonymous said...

I'm a guy from Thailand and found that your story gave so much knowledge to me .

Anonymous said...

I have just started using both the Rage Shad and Rage Toad. Both baits are very good except for one thing, the tail/lags. On a backlash, if the line stops hard, the plastic rips. On a strike, the plastic rips. Casted into a bullrush or hung up on a lily pad, the plastic rips. This is fixable with alittle super glue, but a definate problem with a bait the cost a dollar apiece.

Fishdoctor said...

No matter what brand of plastic frog I have used, they all run/turn upside down, cast to cast. Have noticed they tend to run upright more in open water. Another frog I have used is the Mann's Hard Nose. I like it best when I am in a scouting mode. PS, have found the Rage frog at Academy clearance price, .88 a pack.